KUTZTOWN, Pa. - Dozens of people shared their opinions about a new ordinance in Kutztown that allows police to warn and even fine groups of 10 or more unrelated people. It's all an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.
"I've had my properties here in town ruined by students," said Lisa Foster. "I'm not sure if police are going to be able to break up parties of 10 or more, and I honestly think it's a good idea."
"I can understand breaking up gatherings maybe in a public place, but when it comes down to a private residence, I think it's a little ridiculous," said Blake McAllister of Kutztown. "I don't think they have any, I know they passed the ordinance, but I don't think they have any right."
The borough council members said they don't want to make it an "us versus them" issue. They just want the borough and the university on the same page in the fight against COVID-19.
"This is not about battling with the university," said Derek Mase, the council's vice president. "This is about working with the university. The university has plans to leverage our ordinance to their benefit to help their students. I say help their students. They're our students."
As the university moves forward with in-person classes, the borough is hoping students take the initiative to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
"Most of the students that I've talked to are in favor of something like this so they have a lever of sorts to be able to say, 'I can't engage in that kinda behavior,'" Mase said. "I need to stay healthy. Those students are absolutely aware it's spreading in their population."
The ordinance takes effect immediately and the council members in favor said they hope it will help to stop the spread of COVID-19.